Links 11/17/18

Orca recovery task force urges partial ban on whale watching, study of dam removal Seattle Times (furzy)

Flat Earthers descend on Denver for second annual conference Denver Post (Dr. Kevin)

Half of the world’s annual precipitation falls in just 12 days, new study finds PhysOrg (Chuck L)

Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds Guardian. Resilc: “The current snow in the northeast gets all the attention. Long-term doesn’t matter in USA USA.”

US City Sea Level Rise Maps Nickolay Lamm Business Insider

A Note on the Role of Energy in Production Science Direct (Micael). Downloadable till Jan. 5.

OpenAI and DeepMind AI system achieves ‘superhuman’ performance in Pong and Enduro VentureBeat

Surgical robot BOTCHES surgery, kills man on operating table while doctors sipped lattes NaturalNews (Dr. Kevin)

Verizon will launch RCS text messaging in early 2019 Verge

Dodging antibiotic resistance by curbing bacterial evolution PhysOrg (Robert M)

China?

Pence says ’empire and aggression’ have no place in Indo-Pacific Reuters. Resilc: “Not The Onion.”

Brexit

Could you be the next useless Brexit secretary? Daily Mash

Opinion: Brexit, lies and anarchy DW. Wowsers.

The maths probably won’t work for May, however hard she tries Spectator. Very conservative numbers on Ultras who vote against the deal (20 v. the 51 who have signed Stand4Brexit) but also conservative #s on other defections.

Theresa May takes Brexit battle to Eurosceptics Financial Times. You can look on this as she beat back a vote of no confidence attempt or as vlade pointed out, the Ultras lacked the votes to dislodge her and recognized that a failed attempt would strengthen her.

The paranoid fantasy behind Brexit Guardian (Dr. B)

Syraqistan

CIA Concludes Saudi Journalist Was Killed on Crown Prince’s Order Wall Street Journal

The Entry of the Commoner Scapegoats in Wahhabeeland Sic Semper Tyrannis. Chuck L: “Pat Lang’s snarky take on the scapegoating underway in KSA regarding the Khashoggi murder.” Moi: Looks like no one is buying it per the WSJ story.

To ease Turkish pressure on Saudis over killing, White House weighs expelling Erdogan foe NBC. Resilc: “Will Trump have him chopped up and packaged at Krogers, or will he let Erdogan do it in Turkey??”

Paul Ryan Secures His Legacy by Supporting a Brutal War on Yemen Nation (resilc)

Rand Paul: Saudi Arabia is Number One at Spreading Terror The American Conservative. Resilc: “Actually number 2, USA USA has to be number far and away….but we only do gooooooooood terror.”

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Hidden Cameras in Streetlights Bruce Schneier (David L). Previously reported, but some interpretation.

Trump Transition

Trump ‘personally answers Mueller Russia questions’ BBC

Trump Elevates Coal Lobbyist To Lead EPA EWG

The White House Spat With Jim Acosta Is Not A First Amendment Issue, Julian Assange’s Indictment Is One Moon of Alabama (Kevin W)

Court rules Hillary Clinton must answer more questions about her emails Washington Examiner

Nancy Pelosi and the Audacity of Identity Driven Hustles Ghion

Abrams ends fight in Georgia governor’s race The Hill

‘It’s torture’: critics step up bid to stop US school using electric shocks on children Guardian

Florida Democratic Party faces questions over vote by-mail signature match correction push – CNN. JTM: “I’m sure this was just inadvertent…”

California Burning

California wildfires: Air quality rated ‘world’s worst’ BBC (David L)

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Virginia Dunkin’ Donuts owner calls police on black customer for using free Wi-Fi without purchase Fox (Kevin W)

Fake News

Mark Zuckerberg, missing in inaction BBC (David L)

Facebook shares fall as Sheryl Sandberg defends position Financial Times

The Donald and the Fake News Media Tom Engelhardt

To Cut Taxes, Big-Box Stores Use ‘Dark Store Theory’ CityLab (Dr. Kevin)

Beloved toy store FAO Schwarz makes its comeback Associated Press (David L)

Boeing hit with what may be first U.S. suit over Lion Air crash Seattle Times (furzy)

Stormy skies for Boeing after Lion Air crash Asia Times

President Obama Repeats the Falsehoods of the New York Times and Andrew Ross Sorkin on Restoring the Glass-Steagall Act Wall Street on Parade (UserFriendly)

Why Amazon Chose New York, Northern Virginia for HQ2 Rolling Stone. Resilc: “Crystal city is the pentagon. So we’ve had a Bezos coup?”

‘I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt’: Jeff Bezos makes surprise admission about Amazon’s life span Business Insider (Kevin W). So that’s his justification for getting welfare from cities, that otherwise Amazon will die sooner?

FCC tells SpaceX it can deploy up to 11,943 broadband satellites ars technica (Kevin W)

The IMF just became the latest to warn about the $1.3 trillion ‘leveraged loan’ market Business Insider

Pfizer raises drug prices again, rebuking Trump Politico (Kevin W)

Class Warfare

A Staggeringly Bad Idea’: Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would ‘Kneecap the Progressive Agenda’ Common Dreams

Parents Deliver Ashes of Diabetic Children to Price-Gouging Insulin Manufacturer RINF

The Best Way To Save People From Suicide Huffington Post. Chuck L: “A good weekend long read.”

Antidote du jour (Tracie H):

See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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219 comments

    1. Bill Smith

      Doesn’t the Assange issue depend on what he was indicted for?

      If you go back to 2012, places like Wired had articles that appeared to show Manning and Assange chat logs showed Assange advising Manning on what to ‘steal’.

      That something different from a reporter printing some documents that someone gave him/her.

      Reply
      1. JTMcPhee

        One wonders whether there are more substantive bases to make such insinuendoes against Assange, in support of the Narrative espoused by the people who so very much want to keep operating behind that screen of impunity and untransparency. Maybe because shining some light on the activities in that to-be-buried past might cast a beam on their own acts?

        I recall a lot of screaming that Julian Assange was a TRAITOR!!!!!!, neatly ignoring, in the shared ignorance and tribal drumming and institutionalization of authoritarian types, that Assange is not even a citizen of the United States, 2010-12-04 Debunked: “Julian Assange is a Traitor (U.S.)” https://wlcentral.org/node/481 “How dare he expose our ‘national security-necessitated’ actions?”

        I bet the CIA and other “Homeland Security” directors would dearly love to have Assange killed, a la Trotsky, maybe, or even better, to “rendition” him to some place where they could work him over, make him hurt and scream, and thus get some “justice” like the US cops so often administer to people who challenge their raw power. Of course, the rulers acknowledge that “we tortured some folks,” while waiting for the Big Commission Report laid out in this NYT piece to disappear into the data stream: U.S. Engaged in Torture After 9/11, Review Concludes, https://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/16/world/us-practiced-torture-after-9-11-nonpartisan-review-concludes.html Who does not think the past tense in the headline is actually very much the present situation?

        Maybe the Khashoggi killing might contain a bit of minatory “intelligence” that even the plugged-in Secret Squirrels from the DHS Panopticon would have a little trouble manufacturing consensus that Assange, as a public figure with a huge raft of awareness about him, on an undeniable background of Imperial overreach and subterfuge and corruption, “deserves” to be “terminated with extreme prejudice.”

        I guess there’s an admission in there that the Borg has in fact Star Chambered an “indictment” of Assange. So yes, it will be interesting to see what he has been indicted for. Bearing in mind the quality of indictments that have been spewed out by the “Justice (sic) Department” over so many years…

        Reply
    2. Brooklin Bridge

      Thanks for the link. Hope K writes a strong frank description (and opinion) of Assange and Wikileak’s importance; it reads like an extended comment one might find on NC.

      The silence of the MSM, as usual, roars.

      Reply
    1. Eureka Springs

      Why? She’s a perfect example of both a Democrat and a what happens when a Progressive achieves the ability to take charge of progressive agendas.

      Seriously. Every person who voted Dem should ‘go’ as well.

      Last time I voted for Pelosi it was for another term on SF city council. For that, politically speaking, I sincerely apologize. It was a terrible mistake.

      Reply
      1. neo-realist

        Was Pelosi ever a progressive? Was she really a moderate who faked progressive in her rhetoric and led her party down the neoliberal rabbit hole like the pied piper?

        Reply
        1. Eureka Springs

          She was head of the House prog Caucus for a long time so evidently most of the other progs thought so. I don’t think it’s fake when all your peers promote you to the top for many years.

          I think there is much denial as to what prog really means for decades now.

          Reply
            1. ambrit

              Oh. Just turn over any graft inside the Beltway and watch them scurry!
              It’s like the ‘Roach Motel.’ “They check into the Graft, but they can’t check out!”
              And, as the paleo-sothic song declaims….

              Reply
        2. Eureka Springs

          She was head of the House progressive caucus for a long time so evidently most of the other progs thought so. I don’t think it’s fake when all your peers promote you to the top for many years.

          I think there is much denial as to what prog really means for decades now.

          Reply
          1. drumlin woodchuckles

            An interesting question would be: how many members of the House Progressive Caucus opposed and rejected Forced Free Trade Agreements?
            And if any of them did, why did they make a supporter of Forced Free Trade Agreements like Pelosi the leader-head of the House Progressive Caucus?

            Reply
            1. Big River Bandido

              About half the membership of the House Progressive Caucus voted for the austerity measure in 2011. As a word, “progressive” has been co-opted by neoliberals, who find it helpful in deluding social justice liberals.

              Reply
              1. Procopius

                I remember reading there was a split in the Progressive Party back around 1900. One part believed monopolies were inherently bad and must be broken up. The other decided that sometimes monopolies were good because they were more “efficient,” because they could produce cheaply. The latter group is the one that took the name after Hayek created the Mount Pelerin Society.

                Reply
        3. Synoia

          Was Pelosi ever a progressive?

          Absolutely. She’s progressed from being a wanna be politician to being speaker of the house.

          Reply
    2. Geo

      Earlier this week Salon writer Amanda Marcotte had an article stating that the efforts to replace Pelosi as speaker were due to sexism. It wasn’t the article that had me depressed but the nearly unanimous support for it in the comments.

      https://www.salon.com/2018/11/15/yes-the-campaign-to-take-down-nancy-pelosi-is-sexist-not-to-mention-a-terrible-idea/

      First: How is the desire to replace Pelosi with Barbara Lee a movement driven by sexism?

      Second: How does this recent “Blue Ripple” negate the past decade of devastation the Democrats have endured under Pelosi’s mismanagement?

      Third: How is the expansion of RomneyCare nationwide considered a progressive achievement?

      Four: Doesn’t her call for bipartisanship in the era of Trump automatically tarnish her #Resistence credibility? Or is the #Resistence more concerned with resisting the Left than resisting Trump and the GOP?

      Reply
      1. Jason Boxman

        Indeed, the Democrat Party has no legitimacy at all. If Trump is a Russian agent as they’ve loudly proclaimed for two years, what, exactly, are they doing by being willing to work with the administration at all?

        Reply
      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        The #Resistance is nothing more than a Hillary Clinton fan club. It was never anything more than a Hillary Clinton fan club.

        Amanda Marcotte’s consciously deceitful knowingly-bad-faith-based accusation of Sexism against people who want to rescue the House from Pelosian Pollution is nothing more than the typical Pink Pussy Hat McCarthyism which it always was, and always will be.

        Reply
        1. SimonGirty

          Yep… Bayer/ Monsanto, ExxonMobil, the FIRE sector, privatized prisons, TransCanada & ETG (heck, the whole bitumen & fracking scam) HAD to stomp down indentured, working-class, sick, minority, old, disabled, youth… dissent. K Street had to find some way to divide the victims, since our judiciary HAD to be replaced by fascict idealogues. BernieBros® and Correct The Record silenced dissent. BLM, anti-fracking, BDS, Occupy had to be stomped down, along with the Millenial vote. Amanda accomplished this.
          https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/15/an-anarchist-uprising-against-the-liberal-ego/

          Reply
      3. Oregoncharles

        It’s weird: Marcotte was a pretty good columnist before she was promoted to Salon. All of a sudden, she’s a blindered idiot. Makes me wonder what’s going on over there. (Full disclosure: I was a very active commenter there for several years, before I caught them censoring the comments in a highly partisan, dishonest way.)

        Reply
        1. Spring Texan

          Agreed. I’m not sure it’s related to her Salon tenure. She became obsessed with Trump. And turned from decent to terrible. Never bother with her any more.

          Reply
      4. Lobsterman

        I owe Marcotte a debt of gratitude for her writing in the late aughts, but ever since HRC started running in ’14, she’s become utterly unreadable.

        Yes, there is a sexist push to replace Pelosi. From the right. There is none from the left.

        Reply
      1. marym

        I don’t know which is less helpful for finding a way forward – the liberal complaint that she’s too far left, or the leftist complaint that she’s not left enough. She chose to enter a highly flawed electoral and legislative system. To the extent that there’s a more leftist movement to represent, she seems to intend to represent it within the confines of that system, but for now she’s just a small piece of a barely existent movement. Good for her, but if she’s going to be more than her generation’s lone voice in Congress, or one of a very small number, it’s the movement building beyond AOC that matters more.

        Reply
        1. Grand

          So, a person that wants to represent a leftist movement voluntarily eulogizes Pete Peterson on the House floor, attends his functions, buys into his arguments? This person would commit to pay go (for similar reasons she supported Peterson)? She would have the DCCC undermine candidate on the left as it did in the primaries? A leftist would go on TV and brag about how good she is at bringing in corporate bribes, in 2018? Come on now. If people believe that, then they must have redefined the word “leftist”. Besides anyway, the public in large numbers agrees with the left on the actual issues. It doesn’t do so for ideological reasons, largely, but it does support the policy positions of the left. Single payer is one obvious example. In the Democratic Party, over 80% say they support single payer, Pelosi doesn’t. Would a leftist go against her own party in that way, especially given that it is popular overall across the ideological spectrum? We can’t say that this is about what is possible now either, because as we all know, structural changes like that won’t happen between election cycles. And where are the actual progressive alternatives? The Democrats don’t have any, what so ever.

          “I don’t know which is less helpful for finding a way forward – the liberal complaint that she’s too far left, or the leftist complaint that she’s not left enough.”

          Well, what do you find to be more logically convincing? We have steadily moved to the right since Reagan, Carter even, across the board on economic policy. Leaders like Pelosi pushed for an international economic system, institutions like the WTO, and deals like NAFTA, that have undermined the state’s ability to control capital, our democracy, as well as environmental, labor and financial regulations. Long term macroeconomic data shows that wages during this time have stagnated for most, inequality and private debt have exploded, the costs of healthcare, housing and education have been far outpacing wage growth for decades. Massive infrastructure gap, and an environmental crisis that is speeding up that threatens our species (and will come with a massive economic cost too in the end). So, is an argument that she should do more of that, more of what we have been doing and more of what has clearly been a net-negative for the country and most people, compelling to you? Using what facts and logic? Yes, the left and the right both critique her, doesn’t mean that their arguments are equally valid.

          I agree with movement building, but as we saw for decades in Latin America, you can have great mass social movements with lots of popular support and if you don’t have people in power to push things through, nothing will change and the state will often be used to beat back those social movements.

          Reply
  1. el_tel

    Thanks for the piece on suicide…..the emphasis on continued communication is particularly interesting given what I just read on here regarding something I have also experienced – the “Facebook exit effect” whereby once you ditch FB you soon learn who wants to keep in contact by other more conventional means (and I’m classing email to be a more conventional means, though you might disagree). I wonder if an even more insidious effect of FB is that once you leave you might experience more pronounced feelings of isolation when you learn who actually wants to keep in contact via other means….It sounds like addiction and tolerance to a drug – coming off is horrid, and some less-dangerous substitute must be adopted that keeps a person functioning in the real world, fulfilling their needs and dreams.

    Reply
    1. Enquiring Mind

      It would not surprise me to find that there are similar exit effects on other dopamine-hit delivery platforms. Who follows whom, oddly reminiscent of Lenin’s who/whom.

      Reply
    2. In the Land of Farmers

      Yes thanks for the article. But let me save you all the long weekend read so you can spend it with your friends and family:

      The best way to end suicide is to care.

      Reply
      1. ShamanicFallout

        Sorry but wrong. All the caring in the world cannot penetrate the isolation of someone in deep despair. I know this first hand. And this is why suicide is such a persistent mystery. People really do not understand it and cannot make any sense of it. You can have all the family support, social connectedness, all the financial stability and it can make no difference whatsoever. You certainly must ‘care’ for people, but to think that will end suicide is foolish.

        Reply
        1. Kurt Sperry

          If someone with “all the family support, social connectedness, all the financial stability and it can make no difference whatsoever” can find suicide their best option, maybe they aren’t being irrational and maybe their choice should simply be respected as being theirs and not ours to make.

          I think those edge cases will be vanashingly rare though. Caring and unconditional (or nearly unconditional) support will, I suspect, bring the vast majority of those contemplating suicide back from the precipice. In the end though, in the absence of clear non-tautological mental illness (someone who wants to commit suicide is always mentally ill), that’s a choice we should all be allowed to make without shaming, social taboo, or condescension.

          Reply
      2. Huey

        Yes.

        This article, especially at the beginning, was a little overdone, and I’m still flabbergasted that this is somehow news to actual psychiatrists. I have witnessed this first-hand, that at least, is not exaggerated. Article does also mention interestinf points about the difficulty of major hospitals/clinics to implement the contact system.

        At the end of the day, outside of showing (at least trying) real care towards patients, I’m not sure persistent long term communication outside of visists is something that can reasonably be expected from most clinicians/mental health ptofessionals.

        Reply
    3. Geo

      Like any addiction there will be withdrawals and that isolation is definitely something that happens when you cut yourself off from social media. But, and I speak of this from personal experience, the communications to have afterward are of the authentic spectrum of communication and therefore more emotionally rewarding.

      It’s like switching from junk food to health food. At first you feel starved and crave sugars and salts, but after a time you feel much healthier and the thought of junk food is kind of revolting.

      It’s also well documented that social media amplifies depressive thoughts so removal of ones self from social media is better over the long term. Your worry about the short term is well founded though as those withdrawals may push someone already on the edge.

      Reply
    4. djrichard

      I see us as a conquered people. Where in distant times people used to have clans and everybody was related to everybody else, those relationships have been atomized. The empire has more relationships than we as individuals do. Those who thrive are those who have internalized their relationship to the empire.

      Reply
  2. The Rev Kev

    “I’m not ashamed”: Flat Earthers find kindred spirits in a Denver convention center”

    I think that I understand why they chose Denver to meet in. The city is in the center of the Front Range Urban Corridor, between the Rocky Mountains to the west and the High Plains to the east. No worries about going off the edge as there is high features surrounding you to show you how far you can go. Then again, Denver’s nickname is the “Mile-High City” so perhaps the attendees thought that you would have to join the Mile High Club to get there.

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      I wonder whether Thomas L. Friedman will be attending, possibly as a speaker? He would lend a certain je ne sais quoi, gravamen maybe, to the proceedings. And it’s his thesis too, of course.

      Reply
    2. Geo

      Odd that they chose a city where you can see the arc of the globe from its highest peaks.

      The part of me that is fascinated by the faults of human psychology really wishes I was there for this conference! Years ago I used to “join” fringe religious cults to observe how such things were possible. I’d be fascinated to better understand the underpinning need for this flat earth belief system. Is it simply the need to feel exceptional. – to hold a secret so few are keen to? Or is there something more to it?

      Reply
      1. TimR

        Geez, really?? That’s a lot of dedication to learning about cults! Which ones did you check out? Did you figure out the psychology involved? I actually wrote a little essay one time called “Life is just one damn cult after another”… Might come up in a search. Thesis about the idea that the appeal of cults is that they promise to “do it better” than mainstream culture… Which is after all a “cult” itself, that just happened to “win”…

        Reply
        1. wilroncanada

          TimR
          Perhaps Geo simply wanted to survey comparative religions. Not an unusual pursuit among young adults, particularly if they had been brought up in one of the mainstream religions which still preached exclusiveness.
          My girlfriend and I, both young people in mainstream churches, one Sunday night went to a service at a. fundamentalist Christian church in uptown Vancouver BC. After almost two hours of harangue from the pulpit we slipped out, just as certain members began to shout in glossalalia and roll around in the aisles.
          Another time we, at the invitation of a university friend of hers, attended a meeting in a very fashionable home near the University of British Columbia campus, of devotees of The Ontological Society, centred on a certain “Lord Martin Cecil” who purportedly maintained a hilltop mansion near 100 Mile House, BC supported by supplicants who lived in minimalist housing below in order to contribute to his cult.

          Reply
          1. TimR

            Interesting. Some think that cults such as Jonestown were “spook” experiments in mass psychology, lessons from which are then used on the general public at large…
            And that stories like Jonestown may be partly or wholly fabricated. To influence public perception and so on.

            Reply
            1. ambrit

              No ‘spooks’ needed to get a cult up and running. There are more than enough ‘lost’ and ‘lonely’ people in the world to populate as many cults as you need.
              I took a road trip aways back in the seventies over to the West Coast. My travelling partner and I stayed at ‘cult’ ‘accommodations’ half of the nights. Krishna Consciousness, EST, Children of God (that one was downright weird,) and various ‘Missions’ each had a lesson to teach in how to run and maintain a ‘cult.’ Those ‘lessons’ are germane to running almost any endeavour in the human social sphere.
              As far as the subject of ‘fabrication’ goes, allow me to point you towards Kurosawa’s film “Rashomon.”

              Reply
  3. toshiro_mifune

    Regarding the Flat Earthers: When I was a kid in the 70’s my dad worked for AT&T Bell Labs. Amongst all the bits of 70’s geek culture you could encounter there (the SCA, D&D, model rocket people, UFOlogists etc) were Flat Earthers. I remember being confused by it at first but it became obvious very quickly that it was a joke. They didn’t seriously believe it they just had fun with the idea of it and coming up with increasingly complex reasons why a heliocentric and round Earth were wrong. Throughout the 80’s and 90’s whenever I encountered a Flat Earth person it was exactly the same type of people from the 70’s; tongue in cheek flat earth. You were almost guaranteed anyone who espoused Flat Earth also dug The Young Ones, Python and had a Moldvay copy of the Basic Set stashed somewhere.
    Fast forward to the late 00’s and something happened. I don’t know what or why it happened but Flat Earthers became serious.
    What did I miss? Is it possible it still is tongue in cheek and its just trolling now to see who thinks they’re for real, maybe with the occasional dead serious oddball attracted to it? Or did something fundamentally change?

    Reply
    1. Skip Intro

      I think the wingnut christianist leaders had so much success getting people to ignore evolution, that they upped the ante… probably on a barroom wager. After all, the more absurd the propaganda, the better it functions as a loyalty test. They probably saw the mocking flat-earth movement and decided to f___ with them.

      Reply
      1. TimR

        One theory I have encountered on (alleged) independent alternative media sites (aka conspiracy sites according to the epithet of officialdom) is that critiques of NASA were making some headway, and “flat earth” was sent by Intel to discredit by association (since the FEers were also down on NASA.) Flat Earth apparently sprang up virtually overnight on Youtube with dozens of proponents producing regular, elaborate content, suggesting it was a full time job, possibly with support staff. Though claiming to be amateurs.

        Reply
        1. TimR

          It is interesting to note though, that probably 90%, maybe even 99% of the population could not fairly argue w the more expert FEs… Most of us, myself included, would have to appeal to authority at some point… There ARE some good questions raised by FE. Which is why I only “know” the evidence of my own eyes. I hold open the possibility the universe is much different than we’ve been told by the careerist priesthood known as scientists.

          Reply
            1. The Rev Kev

              Well there you go. The Earth is not flat. It is a cylinder which is what is confusing these flat-earthers. We are just living on the curved sides which is why ships leaving ports gradually sink over the horizon – they are going around the curved bit. It is only each end that you have to worry about dropping off.

              Reply
                1. The Rev Kev

                  It’s only logical. All those NASA images from space of the Earth are only showing you the round, end bits. That’s why they all look the same.

                  Reply
                    1. The Rev Kev

                      Why on the inside of course. As he walks around the inside of it, he creates the spinning of the world in a hamster-wheel cage sort of effect. I thought that everybody knew that.

          1. Isotope_C14

            Do you know any scientists?

            I’m sure all of us are identical and equally uncreative in absolutely every way shape and form…

            Reply
            1. Kurt Sperry

              Agreed. Science has sometimes been corrupted and manipulated by various malefactors for profit or ideology, like any other human endeavor, but it, as the saying goes, is still better than any of the alternatives. Scientists are, collectively, about as good as we’ve got. Try hanging out with some.

              Reply
              1. Earl Erland

                The argument came to prominence in part as a result of the Bedford Level Experiments, conducted on what the Wiki article describes as a slow moving drainage canal. In one of these experiments, Lady Elizabeth Anne Blount hired a photographer with a telescopic lens who was able to photograph a sheet hanging from a bridge at a distance of six miles after positioning his camera 2 feet above the surface level of the canal. Because the calculated curvature of the earth should have made this impossible, this was considered proof of a Flat Earth.

                The results of the 1904 experiment and the photograph were published in “The Earth”, a publication self described as “A Monthly Magazine of Sense and Science”. (Link: https://web.archive.org/web/20170115222046/http://www.earthnotaglobe.com/library/Earth%20-%20Monthly%20Magazine%2049-50.pdf). The photographer’s letter to Lady Blount is included. It ends as follows: “I should not like to abandon the globular theory off-hand, but, as far as this particular test is concerned, I am prepared to maintain that (unless waives of light will travel in a curved path) these six miles of water present a level surface.”

                Note that the limited, qualified conclusion was stretched out and flattened beyond the horizon of reasoned inference by the Flat Earthers, who also had to ignore the existence of Atmospheric Refraction, first fully described by Ptolemy, although known to Western Science perhaps as early as the 2nd Century B.C.

                Reply
            2. TimR

              Sorry for the broadbrush comment. My animus is really more against the system in which they operate than individual scientists who are probably good bad and ugly like any group. Just as many here are open to a critique of mainstream economics as part of a rigged system, I extend that suspicion across the entire university and major research institutions. Even the physical sciences can be highly political, see global warming. Others that may seem innocuous are still about perception of reality, and the powerful have long had a vested interest in controlling that.

              No personal offense intended to anyone though.

              Reply
              1. Isotope_C14

                No worries.

                I tend to blame the capitalist education system that eliminates creativity so that you will have obedient, compliant workers to stand at the lathe in the factory.

                This one-size-fits all education system has damaged our society, and likely our ability to survive the sixth-mass-extinction event.

                Reply
          2. makedoanmend

            “I hold open the possibility the universe is much different than we’ve been told by the careerist priesthood known as scientists.”

            Scientists also are open to the possibility that the universe is “much different”. In fact, it’s science dogma. Our knowledge, as science dogma states, is always partial and incomplete. We continually, over different time spans, have to readjust and create new models to deal with new information – both useful information and information that may lead to greater uncertainty. Models are a way to formalise information. They are not an end in themselves. Models come and go as knowledge increases. It is uncertainty and contradictions in theories that drive science forward.

            That one could tar all scientists in many different disciplines and with many different motives and levels of understanding with the one brush is rather restrictive.

            Reply
        2. NotTimothyGeithner

          Wasn’t this a pre-World Wide Web flame war created by an internet troll? When I was younger, I could be incorrigible. I use to call in from pay phones to radio stations to express support for “candidates” who weren’t running for office. I stopped after my “candidate” called into to express his total support for the Republican and to explain that in no way he was running a third party campaign. I was never going to top that.

          I know there was the video of that dimwit of The View, but I don’t think she was really listening and was simply trying to justify some of her earlier positions by yelling loudly when it was obvious she didn’t know anything to justify her positions on the topic prior to Flat Earth being brought up. If memory serves, the argument followed a similar process to my Joe Biden supporting neighbor who also believes college should be free. When I pointed out support of Joe Biden was incompatible with that position, it became apparent he knew virtually nothing except a few names eventually hiding behind our first orange skinned President JFK and his importance to Catholics as if that mattered to his ignorance about Joe Biden.

          Kyrie Irving said the world is flat, and though I doubt he went to a single class at Duke, I tend to think he was trolling sports reporters who appear to see themselves as brighter than their subjects. What does Kyrie Irving care if Woody Paige doesn’t like him? I only selected Woody Paige because of his comical appearance.

          Reply
  4. el_tel

    Love the Daily Mash piece. Whilst the Onion pioneered such satire, I increasingly feel that it has run out of ideas – though maybe that’s because its home has become stranger than fiction to the most absurd degree. The Daily Mash continues to produce pieces that make me LOL. Newsthump used to do so too but like the Onion IMHO fails to really hit the mark consistently.

    Maybe it’s just that we Brits had an empire for much longer and have a richer seam of satire to mine…(not something to be proud about but at least gives us more laughs).

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      Brits have so much more material for humor from the quaint class structure and parliamentary system at the end of the Oxbridge sewer pipeline… but we Yanks are puffing to catch up. In areas like Ownership, and our Rulers’ efforts to nail down entail and primogeniture, and bringing back enclosures of what remain of the commons. We have such a strong model to work from, after all…

      Reply
      1. Doug Hillman

        The best comedy series ever is Australia’s RAKE on Netflix. This is truly depraved British-derived humor, hard on the diaphragm — much worse the second time thru — side-splitting. Strictly for medicinal purposes only, prescription required.

        Before digital video, the cost of scrapped film alone would have been prohibitive for any series like it. Getting any one straight-faced scene “printed” must have required countless takes.

        Reply
        1. nippersmom

          Other examples of irreverent British humor we really enjoyed are Raised by Wolves (Acorn) and The Windsors (Netflix).

          Reply
      2. Synoia

        Slight correction: Not Oxbridge sewer. Should be Oxford PPE sewer.

        Few of the UK Political leadership went to Cambridge. Eton and Oxford are the Upper Class’ traditional route to erudition.

        Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Anything to do with the Windsor family?

        https://www.wwlp.com/news/local-news/franklin-county/queen-elizabeth-sends-royal-birthday-wish-to-northfield-woman/1155612374

        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/04/23/how-to-buy-prince-georges-bathrobe/

        Its absolutely sickening. I do admire Prince Williams’ decision to bald gracefully.

        I do have to admit the identity of the discoverer of Dennis Hof’s cadaver was hysterical. Reading the name in an earlier article with no explanation except to note he was a long time friend was humorous indeed.

        Reply
        1. ewmayer

          “Anything to do with the Windsor family?”

          You mean the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha family, later opportunistically PR-rebranded due to the anti-German sentiment caused by WW1? Kind funny to think that the Germans had ‘conquered Britain’ centuries earlier, it was just the later Kaiser-Wilhelm-led and Nazi upstarts who were unwelcome. :)

          Reply
      2. Wukchumni

        Here lies Dennis Hof
        Who pulled it off
        And to whom the voters
        Who did doff
        Win seeing him off

        p.s.

        The headline was only 1 state off, and close enough works in news these days, so it’s all good.

        Reply
    2. rd

      The Onion’s biggest problem is that Trump’s tweets, FoxNews, and MSNBC keeping scooping it by being first to press.

      They are starting to have to go the route of SNL which has taken to largely just on-air readings of transcripts of actual events.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        My favorite old fake news was The Weekly World News, which I seldom got past a few pages of perusing while waiting for my groceries to add up.

        They’d have a front page with a B-24 Liberator cleverly on the lunar surface, with the headline being:

        “World War 2 Bomber Found On Moon”

        Photoshop was the death of them…

        Reply
        1. Lee Too

          Late to the links today, but had to share this from the old Weekly World News. It first caught my attention with a front page as follows:

          Headline: Woman Gives Birth to Alien!

          Sub-headline: Looks Like Ordinary Baby!

          Below that: Photo Inside!

          Reply
  5. Savonarola

    PLEASE, Crystal City is not the Pentagon. That’s like saying that Pentagon City is the Pentagon. It’s a shopping mall. It’s also a metro stop closer to the Pentagon than Crystal City is.

    Crystal City used to be full of contractors and auxiliary offices but hasn’t been for 10 years. Now all those folks are out in Tysons. Why do you think there is so much open space for Amazon to get paid to take in Crystal? BRAC hollowed out any military presence in Crystal City long ago. It’s mostly airport hotels.

    Reply
    1. voteforno6

      DoD still has a number of offices there. For that matter, a good chunk of the offices that were in Crystal City actually relocated just a few miles away to the Mark Center.

      That being said, I’m looking forward to seeing how they justify a helipad for Amazon, considering that the airspace there is extremely restricted.

      Reply
      1. Darius

        Michael Brooks Show correctly says the competition was a scam. Bezos always knew where he wanted to go. The fake competition enabled him to extort bribes out of New York and Virginia.

        Reply
        1. tegnost

          and hoover up sensitive urban planning data as well and that’s probably worth more than the rest of the gravy train combined

          Reply
  6. Doug Hillman

    The CIA concludes that MSB ordered Khashoggi’s murder.

    This should make us question the obvious. Did the 12-man KSA security hit squad really go rogue after all, and conspire to take out a WaPo journalist on their own? The saying about blind pigs occasionally finding truffles just does not fit the CIA; its hijacking of Christ’s words about the truth setting us free is as Orwellian as it gets. Is this a typical CIA mindf**k? Is the entire story a fabrication? What is their hidden agenda?

    Oh, I get it now. The CIA just wants to ensure that the five scapegoats will get a fair public trial after they’ve been beheaded.

    Reply
    1. johnnygl

      I think the most likely scenario is that the CIA allowed/encouraged MBS to sign his own death warrant. They seem to be pushing for a ‘restoration’ of the other, more pliable, elements of the saudi royal family.

      They should be careful what they wish for.

      Reply
      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        My guess is the CIA doesn’t grasp why democracy matters. MBS, for all of his faults, recognized the sideways succession through the previous generation will sputter out leading to a collapse and seized power resenting an opportunity for longer term stability with his age. The Western friends of Bandar Bush might hope for a return to the glory days, but democracy exists to avoid succession crises which often wind up in the end of the dynasty.

        With Trump signing new arms deals or taking credit for the delayed ones, there is the risk of a new dynamic being set up with so many of the old powers left out in the cold if they don’t act as they will run out of potential Saudi allies due to age.

        Reply
      2. Doug Hillman

        Makes perfect sense. Pathological liars readily tell the truth when it serves a greater deception.

        For the CIA, America’s primary propaganda mill, truth is a staple of every dish served. It’s a key ingredient, finely ground, highly processed, commingled with psychoactive additives, extruded in attractive packaging and distributed widely thru its vast network of MSM outlets.

        This explains the general passivity and apathy of citizens who tolerate, even support a criminal kleptocracy which embezzles two-thirds of its people’s taxes for global surveillance, blackmail and mass-murder. Reality has now eclipsed Orwell’s fiction.

        Reply
        1. knowbuddhau

          That’s right, well said. They’ve been going to the neuralyzer so long, most people aren’t going to recognize reality when it hits.

          That sound you hear in the background, the sound of turning fans, added with every other turning device on earth, adds up to just one of the colossal sh!t fans we installed when “the Industrial Revolution happened here” (quoting the title of a BBC documentary).

          It’s coming from inside the house! Close. It’s coming from inside us. There’s nothing in nature that says our way of life has to be such an affront to nature that we’re disrupting the very titanic cycles that make all civilizations possible.

          There are counterexamples aplenty of societies that managed to manage scarce resources and still thrive for thousands of years. Used to be more but genocide. How’s that Manifest Destiny looking now, Pilgrim?

          Reply
          1. knowbuddhau

            Oh, that magic feeling: looking for clarity in public polling, only to find: the more you look, the muddier it gets.

            Survey survey says: As few as 27%, or a whopping 70%, depending on whom you ask, what they’re selling, and how close you want to look.

            July 6, 2017

            https://www.desmogblog.com/2017/07/06/new-survey-shows-majority-americans-believe-climate-change-real-and-caused-human-activity

            Here are a few key findings from the new report:

            Over half of Americans (58%) understand that global warming is mostly human caused, the highest level since our surveys began in November 2008. By contrast, three in ten (30%) say it is due mostly to natural changes in the environment – the lowest level recorded since 2008.

            Only about one in eight Americans (13%) understand that nearly all climate scientists (more than 90%) are convinced that human-caused global warming is happening.

            Over half of Americans (57%) say they are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming. About one in six (17%) are “very worried” about it.

            About one in three Americans (35%) think people in the U.S. are being harmed by global warming “right now.”

            By a large margin, Americans say that schools should teach children about the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to global warming (78% agree vs. 21% who disagree).

            One particularly intriguing finding from the Yale report is that the majority believe that the threats of climate change are things that will either happen in the distant future, or that they will not happen to the individuals polled or their families:

            Most Americans think global warming is a relatively distant threat – they are most likely to think that it will harm future generations of people (71%), plant and animal species (71%), the Earth (70%), people in developing countries (62%), or the world’s poor (62%). They are less likely to think it will harm people in the U.S. (58%), their own grandchildren (56%) or children (50%), people in their community (48%), their family (47%), themselves (43%), or members of their extended family living outside the U.S. (41%).

            Also says “the Legislative Branch of government is populated with a majority of representatives who do not accept the scientific consensus regarding climate change.”

            April 7, 2017

            https://www.livescience.com/58584-us-majority-believes-climate-change-is-real.html

            Seventy percent of people in the United States say they believe global warming is happening, said Whitehouse, D-R.I., as he reviewed data from interactive charts recently released by Yale University scientists. However, a smaller percentage — 53 percent — think that global warming is caused mostly by humans, Whitehouse said.

            In addition, Whitehouse referenced a 2017 Gallup poll, which found that 71 percent of Americans say most scientists believe global warming is occurring; 68 percent believe global warming is caused by human activities; and 62 percent believe the effects of global warming have already begun.

            January 5, 2016

            https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/264767-poll-70-percent-believe-in-climate-change

            But the support is complicated. Pollsters found that only 27 percent of respondents agree with the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is the main cause of climate change.

            The survey did find support for actions to stop climate change, though the questions were worded mostly to focus on the effects of global warming, like rising sea levels and increased extreme weather.

            Reply
      3. Todde

        I wonder if MbS bypassed our intelligence agency and went to Trump for the green light.

        And the CIA gathered the evidence and sat on it to be used later imstead of bringing it to Trump?

        I am/was waiting for the ‘evidence that Trump knew/ok’d the murder’ to come kut but looks unlikely as time goes by.

        Reply
  7. The Rev Kev

    “Pence says ’empire and aggression’ have no place in Indo-Pacific”

    So I was looking at other stuff Pence said in his speech and found such gems as the following-

    “We don’t drown our partners in a sea of debt. We don’t coerce or compromise your independence. We do not offer a constricting belt or a one-way road,”
    “Some are offering infrastructure loans to governments across the Indo-Pacific and the wider world, yet the terms of those loans are often opaque at best.”
    “The projects they support are often unsustainable and poor quality. Too often they come with strings attached and lead to staggering debt,”
    “Let me say with great respect to all the nations across this wider region and the world: Do not accept foreign debt that could compromise your sovereignty. Protect your interest. Preserve your independence. And just like America, always put your country first.”

    You know, I have been thinking about it but as far as I know, “Confessions of an Economic Hit Man” is not an English translation of a Chinese book.

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      Pence is a TV Preacher manque— unbound by anything but his personal Higher Truth that he gets from his Direct and Personal Relationship with his Higher Power, YHWH, and from his careful and selective parsing of the Holly Bibble, particularly the Good Old Testament…YHWH, he avers, lays these Higher Truths directly on his heart. He’s hoping to ascend to Higher Power himself in this life, of course… in the sure and certain knowledge that he will sit at the right hand of the Great White Father in the next.

      Reply
      1. knowbuddhau

        Nice ones, both of you. What you describe so succinctly, JT, is the familiar political cosmos that typifies societies, like our own, that grow from roots sunk in the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Persia. It’s obviously a projection, a near perfect recapitulation, of our primate nature. Despotism is the order of not just the day, but the cosmos itself, it’s how reality comes into being.

        Messing with Big Daddy is three times a crime: against society (de facto if not de jure, mafia style); against nature (that’s why god responds to gays with hurricanes, right?); and against BD Himself: God said, Let there be no gays, it’s in the book (according to the people who say they speak for god) (and you got to wonder about people who don’t see the irony in a *solitary gendered transcendental figure, amirite? In fact, there’s hard evidence YHWH had a wife. BBC “Divine Women,” look it up).

        Further east is a dramatic cosmology, in which we all arise from within, as dreamers playing roles in the dream of a cosmic dreamer. (Please note this is all metaphorical, literalists. Mistaking a metaphor for a fact can be done at least two ways: by taking it literally, senses be damned, and believing what you’re told it means; or by taking it literally, falsifying it, and using that as a prop for spurious superiority over equally mistaken opponents.) It’s much more consonant with quantum physics.

        And I don’t have to tell you, JT, about the difference between jurisprudence based on law-givers, like Hammurabi and YHWH, and case law, which grows organically, or “messily,” in the view of the former. In fact, I’m certain you could tell me a thing or two. TIA.

        Reply
    2. Todde

      Did he go on to say

      we dont recklessly invade other countries, drone our citizens half a world away or deny our citizens basic health care.

      Reply
  8. Bandit

    Surgical robot BOTCHES surgery, kills man on operating table while doctors sipped lattes NaturalNews (Dr. Kevin)

    I hope there will be a followup on this case in order to see who is held accountable for the patient’s death. It looks like the entire surgical team, hospital staff and hospital directorship are directly involved in death of a patient who was not informed of the increased risk using an untested robot. At every level this stinks of gross incompetence and intentional ignorance. The fact that 3 of the overseeing surgeons walked out during the surgery demonstrates incredible negligence in itself. All involved should be sacked and lose their medical licenses. I wish I were the practicing barrister representing the family of the deceased.

    Reply
    1. JTMcPhee

      All the tech lovers have to do is just buy the device, input a little data, and push the “on” button, right? No reason to fear “properly controlled” technology, right? What could possibly go wrong, right?

      I know, of course. of incidents where surgeons of questionable competence with other things on their minds (nurses’ cleavage, golf games, divorce) have done things like push a catheter through the wall of a cardiac artery while supposedly doing an arteriogram and placing a stent, and a host of others. If the autonomous-vehicle AI lovers and profiteers have their way, and SilVal is working away at this and other externalizations of risk and costs, the liability legal structure will be “tweaked” to insulate the humans who institute and profit from “progress” from the consequences of their activities. And stuff like “informed consent,” already a laughable notion (perfunctory recitation in low reassuring tones of generic categories of risk, if any actual “informing” of the patient is done at all before the nurse or functionary presents the liability-limiting form for the patient or anxious medical representative to sign) will be further debased. The last “informed consent” I was presented with was tiny text on the screen of an iPad, and was “signed” through one of those signature-grabbing dongles with its little touch screen and stylus. No way, of course, to fudge those electronic signatures, no incentives to do so, all part of the giant Bezzle…

      Reply
      1. polecat

        Doncha know, they hired the wrong robot .. a roofer most likely, by the way it applied those staples !!
        “kuchunk kuchunk kuchunk”

        Reply
      2. Synoia

        I’m a tech lover, and it has been my profession, There is are simple rules in tech:

        1. If it is not tested, it does not work.

        2. There is no bug free code. There is a story that IBM had a one instruction program, IEFBR14. It also contained a bug, and had to become a two instruction program.

        3. RTFM.

        Reply
        1. GF

          Maybe the robot was manipulated by the “observing doctors” to kill the patient in order to save their jobs for awhile longer?? MbS may have ordered it.

          Reply
        1. LifelongLib

          The apps don’t seem to care as long as you make a mark. Sometimes another person is supposed to ” accept” the signature but it looks like they don’t care either…

          Reply
      3. knowbuddhau

        Now look, we’ve all known, ever since the Industrial Revolution, that to do things with machines is Alpha. Doing things by hand is Beta. That’s why Alphas would rather be criminals and pay unliveable wages under the table than clean their own houses.

        Evidently, being underhanded, self-righteous, two-faced hypocrites is Alpha, too, so of course they scarpered during robot surgery.

        To be Beta is good, sure, but it ain’t as good as being Alpha, amirite? /s

        Were these surgeons raised on promises of flying cars and robot surgeons? Will the defense pin their hopes on it in a twist on affluenza?

        It’s the end game of scientific management: we just stand there, watching robots do what we could do.

        Will they get around to building a robot janitor than can actually clean an actual, old school bathroom, not a lab? And then, who would clean the cleaners?

        Putting this on my best mop bucket: Qui puriter sordibus, emundat optimus (Who cleans elegant, cleans best). Could a robot even know what elegant is?

        Reply
    2. Lee

      Should Asimov be required reading for one and all these days?

      Isaac Asimov’s “Three Laws of Robotics”
      A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.

      A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.

      A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

      Maybe the upper limit of robot intelligence is beating humans at chess. Life is so much more complicated.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        “Part of the inhumanity of the computer is that, once it is competently programmed and working smoothly, it is completely honest.”

        Asimov

        Reply
        1. Jason Boxman

          Interstellar:

          Cooper:
          Hey TARS, what’s your honesty parameter?

          TARS:
          90 percent.

          Cooper:
          90 percent?

          TARS:
          Absolute honesty isn’t always the most diplomatic nor the safest form of communication with emotional beings.

          Cooper:
          Okay, 90 percent it is.

          Reply
      2. knowbuddhau

        Oh, then you’re the one to answer my question: what do/can/will robots know of elegance?

        Remember all those 19th-century contraptions, such as the “air-conditioned rocking chair?” Are we in that phase of robotics? Do we really need robot vacuums?

        Funny how, in the Ceramic Model, God breathed the spirit into inanimate, stupid, inert dirt that would just lie there if it weren’t for his genius, and made a clay figurine to dance to his tune he pretends not to play; but in the entirely different Fully Automatic Model, it’s the other way around.

        Is it any wonder people worship AI like the new godhead and assume robot = infallible? ‘Save us AI, you’re our only hope, we’re just stupid, carbon-based, bags of mostly water that don’t know the meaning of logic! Upload me!’

        Reply
    3. whine country

      May lead to a legal precedent for accidents involving “self-driving” cars. Need some clarifications on the fine points. Reading a book while pedestrian is run down? OK. Sipping a latte? The jury is out on that one.

      Reply
    4. polecat

      I think Stanley Kubrick died much too early !! He would’ve had a field-day with all these great technologies being developed by the intelligent yet again idiotic ..

      Reply
    5. Jonhoops

      The headline was quite misleading. Should have bee more like “Untrained doctor kills patient, while learning to use complicated tool on the job”

      The robot was probably the Da Vinci, which in trained hands is a great tool.

      In the recent documentary about scandals in the medical devices world it was revealed that Da Vinci originally required an extensive training program. The training program was dropped because surgeons wouldn’t buy the machines with the long training period. So it now is sold with a very short training session.

      A girl I know had her life saved by a Da Vinci surgeon but he was one of the first to use it and had hundreds of surgery’s under his belt.

      Reply
    6. Jeremy Grimm

      This link reminded me of a famous case of a software glitch in a machine used for radiation treatments. I’m not sure how complex the software in this automated heart surgeon might be but given the present state of computer science and programming … [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therac-25]
      Maybe it runs on Win 10 and received an update during the surgery.

      Reply
    7. The Rev Kev

      You’d think that when things started to go wrong that someone would have thought to unplug the damn thing from the power point as in – yank!

      Reply
  9. ex-PFC Chuck

    Re the “Note on the Role of Energy in Production” link, which is to the Elsevier page for a paper by Steve Keen et al, is there a way to download the full paper if you’re not affiliated with an institution? & is it a free download?

    Reply
  10. The Rev Kev

    “Why Amazon Chose New York, Northern Virginia for HQ2”

    I heard a rumour that after the New York and Wshington complexes are complete, that Bezos has requested that the US Government cede him a desert region so that it could be turned into a massive nexus of Amazon products in a giant depot. Oddly enough, he requested for unknown reasons, that this region include a volcano in it as well. A leaked email even mentioned the name to be given this place – the Metropolitan and Outsourced Resources Depot Operational Region.

    Reply
  11. Craig H.

    > Hidden Cameras in Streetlights

    Went to the block neighborhood watch police annual meet and greet a couple weeks ago. The police department has a new program where all us citizens are encouraged to have cameras and sign up to help the cops and if we don’t have a camera they will subsidize the purchase at 25$. Or they have a discount for a specific camera for 25$. (I missed the detail there.) They don’t get the data automatically. They have our name and phone and e-mail (if we want to participate) and if something happens in our surveillance camera range–like say a violent political activist commits an assassination like that story the other day from Greece–they ask us to look at the footage for a certain date and time and see if what they are looking for is in there and then we get rewarded with a play patch or something. The preferred device is a combination door bell / front porch cam. I didn’t even know these things existed and Best Buy has 18 models starting at a hundred dollars.

    Best Buy WiFi Doorbell gizmos

    Cops like cameras. The ones at the meeting seemed like very nice people. I didn’t ask them any of the questions I really wanted to ask them. :(

    Reply
  12. johnnygl

    Pelosi shows us who she really is fresh off her victory by running right into the waiting, loving arms of trump (who explicitly endorsed) and the republicans. She tries to put the left in a fiscal straight-jacket and courts republican support for her speakership.

    I’m curious about the medium term effect on support from the dem voter base which is already luke-warm on her. It may save her hide for a little while, but I think the end is getting close for pelosi’s run as majority leader. Openly helping the republicans will only hurt her popularity.

    Even if one of the more conservative dems emerges as leader, they’ll only have a tenuous grip on the caucus and will be under a lot of pressure from a voter base that is moving left.

    Primary challengers for the 2020 cycle may find a much more receptive audience than in 2018 as the base loses patience with the party’s refusal to do much beyond complain and fundraise.

    Reply
    1. John k

      Imagine the number of challenges if Bernie wins nom. Course, dems aren’t stupid, their job 1 is to keep this from happening at all costs.
      Wonder if tulsi campaigns with him…

      Reply
    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      Those who were activated by “OMG Russia” and “Trump” who think politics started in 2016 will be ticked, but the greying loyalists to Team Blue will continue to make excuses for Dear Leaders at all costs. Pelosi has been a member of the Gang of Eight for years. Schumer has been in the leadership for so long they can’t say he’s new.

      Reply
      1. JohnnyGL

        The ‘demographics is destiny’ argument can be flipped on the dem leadership in the sense that middle class wealth continues to get drained over time by rent, student loans, and health care costs.

        Each year brings a fresh, new crop of heavily indebted students who will get disenchanted with their job prospects by 25-30 and realize they can’t pay.

        The system breeds its own opposition.

        Reply
  13. tegnost

    I periodically send money to a friend, this week it hasn’t shown up yet, and she asked the mailman if there might be a problem? “Amazon is doing free shipping this week, we’re swamped and everything is slowed down, maybe tomorrow…” They should pay extra for that. Amazon is hands down the most dystopian disgustingly evil corp ever. After reading yesterday how the bid system just gave them reams of non public info to the guy who knows what books you read and loves the pentagon, cia, and of course, mad dog mattis (no word yet on whether elite liberal consumers will restrain themselves from using a trump favoring biz). This really isn’t funny, our country is over. All Hail Bezos, King of the Bozos…I hear he hires lots of smart people. As to someday amazon will die…BS misdirection, they’ll metastasize

    Reply
  14. Wukchumni

    I really shouldn’t have ingested mind altering substances before we assaulted the Vegas strip after an absence of a decade, as it turns out. Coffee only amps you up.

    The feeling of being a pinball while ensconced in your straight & narrow lane is paramount to the experience as your senses spin wildly towards the next digital eye candy up for view, that REALLY wants you to gamble in their house of chance, and so it repeats until you’ve finally run out of possibilities, drained from the effort.

    Maybe we’ll try it again in another 10 years from now…

    …the skies are smoke-free here and what a relief from being in the belly of the beast in California

    Reply
    1. Doug Hillman

      Shades of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by HS Thompson. Watch out for the flying wombats that continually assaulted Hunter.

      Reply
    2. ambrit

      Zounds! You went from “the Belly of the Beast” in California to the “Lair of Leviathan” in Vegas? Did you see “The Doors of his Face, the Lamps of His Mouth?”
      Hunter S Thompson meets Job. A fitting chronicler for the American West.
      “…he IS a king over all the children of pride.”

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Pavlovegas is all about reinforcement, and the big dogs know that people wager too much when they’re losing and not enough when they’re winning, so it’s a fiat accompli.

        Reply
        1. Wukchumni

          We put in tomorrow about 1/2 mile down river from Hoover Dam on the Colorado, and this is the worst case scenario that everybody fears:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_7W0D10CDs

          We’ll be residents of Arizona for 1/365th of the year, where we stay overnight @ Arizona hot springs, the trail for which snakes up a slot canyon, and then there’s that metal ladder with 17 rungs that has a 100 degree waterfall running through it, you have to climb up, to get to the hot springs, which are hot, really hot and too hot, all tucked into the narrow walls which ascend hundreds of feet vertically on either side of you.

          Az hot springs is pretty much where everybody camps overnight either having hiked down to it or kayaked/canoed to it, so it has a different feel, as it’s a very social soak and everybody has the same shared experience in getting there, just 30 air miles from the LV strip-but the feel of being hundreds of miles away, where nature very much rules.

          The lay of the land:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cP648XpcP24&t=44s

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            ‘….from Hoover Dam on the Colorado, and this is the worst case scenario that everybody fears’

            Look at the bright side. If this ever happened, you would have some world-class whiter-water rafting going on for a while.

            Reply
        2. ambrit

          Ah yes. Human nature.
          Me, I ‘grind’ when I gamble, which, seeing the meagre nature of our families finances today is not at all. (I do avoid the lottery. It uses the worst odds known to thinking beings.)
          I take that back about not gambling. I am not yet old enough for Medicare, and cannot afford any of the “Dog Food Brand” Medical Insurance Schemes. Thus, I gamble every day that nothing of an incapacitating nature befalls me before 65.
          Life is a Lottery that everyone loses.

          Reply
    3. Lee

      Meanwhile, another group of survivors is drawn to Las Vegas by Randall Flagg, an evil being with supernatural powers.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Stand

      If you haven’t done so, you might enjoy reading Stephen King’s The Stand as long as you’re at ground zero for so much that’s wrong with our species. But breathable air is certainly a plus.

      Reply
    4. drumlin woodchuckles

      I was in Las Vegas with a friend for a few days early just this last September for the annual meeting of the Salt Water Fish and Coral Tank Keepers ( which he is part of). So I went to some fish and coral talks and also saw a little bit of Las Vegas.

      I found the vast shoals of gamblers hunched over their digital machines or in the still-more-analog face-to-face gambling pits to be a very sad and depressing spectacle. I had intended to be a good citizen and donate a few quarters to one of the machines . . . . but the whole gambling machine scene was so repellent that I could not even donate quarter one.

      The architecture was fun to look at, though. The desert is very dry and the heat was very hot. I saw a mockingbird in one of the carefully maintained trees with its wings drooping and its mouth wide open, just trying to endure the heat. There were some rock doves and english sparrows. There was some kind of grackle which looked a lot more long-legged than the grackles back here in the MidWest. They looked almost like little dinosaurs walking around on their stilt-length legs.

      And the couple of buffets I went to were lots of fun.

      Reply
  15. nycTerrierist

    Excellent rant at Ghion Journal:

    “We need to stop falling for identity driven hustles and support people who support us through their actions instead of falling for their empty promises. Or we can keep electing shysters who talk a good game and use our struggles as stage craft and what we keep getting a government that treats us like schmucks.”

    Reply
    1. marym

      The Ghion post is a valid critique of Pelosi, and party politics.

      The same way Trump is using identity politics to deceive his loyalists into thinking he is one of theirs, Democrats are yet again using the hopes and frustrations of their supporters to regain power. It doesn’t matter who the shiny new faces are that they keep trotting out, symbolic diversity with freshmen politicians will not root out the systematic corruption that is festering at the foundation of both parties. Promises are not policies and neither is any personality bigger than the institution that they serve.

      As far as the current Pelosi speakership controversy, there’s no real answer is there?

      The organized opposition to her among incumbent Dems, and less formally among thenewly-elected is from her right (Link h/t dcblogger).

      Meanwhile, the Progressive Caucus (fwiw I know I know) has gotten concessions from her about committee and leadership assignments (Link), and at least shown “concern” about PAYGO. (Link).

      Elsewhere to the left AOC has gotten 7 Dems to sign on to her resolution about planning a Green New Deal (Link) the draft of which even includes a proposal for a public bank (Link).

      To see Pelosi as a better choice than whoever (there’s not an actual candidate so far) the R branch of the D’s would choose would require believing she’s at least somewhat willing to accede to pressure from the left, and that her liberal supporters are willing (as they weren’t with Obama or candidate Clinton) to exert that pressure – a stretch in both cases.

      To see a more right-wing choice as preferable would require thinking there’s some positive policy outcome lurking in a fake Dem + real Rep alliance.

      Ugh.

      Reply
      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I would like to see Pelosi destroyed fast and hard before she has any more chances to destroy yet more hopes and dreams.

        But she is Trump’s favorite for the Speakership. Perhaps he senses that a Speaker Pelosi One-More-Time will break the Democratic Party into two or more pieces. The Catfood Democrats would be the biggest piece and they would try joining forces with the Republicans to destroy Social Security and Medicare.

        Reply
  16. Octopii

    I’ll post this here and perhaps it will be picked up into a headline. This is important – it shows Microsoft 365 cloud services are harvesting user data in a manner that is not disclosed under the user agreement, and does not adhere to the GDPR in Europe. Large enterprises are being moved to the MS cloud as premise-based software is being discontinued. This is a massive security leak – surprise surprise.

    (PDF Warning)

    Reply
  17. Skip Intro

    According to Greg Palast, the headline from The Hill “Abrams ends fight in Georgia governor’s race” is misleading, and Abrams will be involved in a legal fight:

    The immediate weapon will be litigation against the State of Georgia to show that the election was hopelessly tainted, which, under Georgia statute, could result in a court throwing out the whole rotting dung-heap of an election. That is why Abrams technically did not concede, but rather dropped her claim to office. (Lawyers will understand that she has to maintain “standing.”)

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      It sounds like she is serious about election legitimacy and getting the victory you won if you really did win it.

      Not quite like Gore and not a bit like Kerry.

      Her fighting spirit will raise her longer-term credibility.

      Reply
    1. Wukchumni

      Whoops, make that Hemenway Park.

      Went back for round 2 and another part of the herd showed, so 33 bighorn sheep today.

      It’s more fun to see them gamboling down impossible cliffs while you’re sitting in a kayak on the flatwater section of the Colorado River, but there’s nothing wrong with a Bighorn Buffet, as you’re in Vegas-adjacent.

      Most people have never seen 1 in the wild (while not quite wild, these sheep thrills are really used to humans gawking at them, I got within 25 feet of a biggin’ with droopy horns and he didn’t care) and you’re either going to see a bunch or none, as they aren’t loners.

      Reply
      1. Wukchumni

        Couldn’t resist and took a 3rd walk, and let me set the table for you…

        Got a 2-go beverage @ nearby Terrible Herbst (…always loved that moniker) and asked the clerk who was somebody’s grandmother and perhaps great-grandmother, if the sheep strayed their way? and she said that sometimes the herd runs around the gas station, which would be oh so cool to see…

        Hemenway Park is in no need of lawn mowing service as I watched the residents eating grass to the nubs nearly, but the bighorn doody detail must be an interesting job title, as scattered all over parts of the expansive lawn are deposits of perfectly cylindrical piles of what look like miniaturized Civil War era stacked black cannonballs.

        About a 1/3rd of the herd had radio collars on their necks.

        The hierarchy of the herd is on full display, the older males with 2+ foot long curved horns calling the shots, content to play lazy guard, but with a watchful eye.

        Reply
        1. scarn

          Amazing, I have to take the kids out there! My son and I spied bighorns in a canyon in Anza-Borrego a couple years ago, but they were hundreds of feet up the canyon wall. How fun to be able to see them this close!

          Reply
          1. Wukchumni

            You feel a bit like you’re cheating, seeing so many so close. The park’s been there since 1967, specifically to being the numbers of bighorns up, and has been successful.

            Meanwhile, there’s tennis courts, basketball courts, covered patios, with a view of disappearing Lake Mead, and a host of benches all over the lawn, for people to sit and watch them linger.

            Reply
            1. GF

              In the Google Earth Pro view of the park (where the green L shaped grass is NW of the baseball field) and if you zoom in close, there is a herd of sheep grazing.

              In a similar vein if you zoom in on the south and east shore of Monomoy Island Cape Cod there are thousands of seals basking in the sun all down the east side.

              Reply
  18. Eclair

    Aarrgghhh! Is there a name for the anxiety that grips a loyal NC reader when there have been so many fascinating and must-read posts (and their comments), as well as links, in the past few days, that said reader is at least 4 posts/links behind, with the resulting uncertainty over wether to read the latest post/links first or to try to catch up by reading the earliest first and then working one’s way up? All while trying to eat healthily, stay reasonably clean and, occasionally, speak to one’s spouse/significant other/children.

    NC generalized unread post anxiety disorder?

    Reply
    1. Lee

      GUPAD: I like it.

      It’s like winning the lottery and having figure out what to buy or whom to help first. A harassment of riches, perhaps?

      Reply
    2. Jean

      Eclair,
      Here’s a productivity secret. Go to handicapped access on your computer in system preferences, it’s called “accessibility” on a mac, then go to “speech”.
      You can highlight the text of an entire article and have a voice of your choice read them so that you can do dishes, clean, exercise etc. while hearing the articles. You will of course hear everything, including https, dates etc. so stick to the text only.

      Reply
    3. Olga

      i’d say there is… reflecting on the number of opened tabs with NC, dating back probably two years (or more). But would we want it any other way?

      Reply
  19. tegnost

    According to this there are currently 4,635 satellites currently in space (although the link says 1.886), now we’re adding 11,000?
    https://www.pixalytics.com/sats-orbiting-earth-2017/
    and even I know that as you get closer to earth, each orbital circle is smaller, so more satellites in less space…glad to know they’re phasing it in slowly…./s
    FTL…FCC rules require the launch of 50 percent of satellites within six years of authorization and all of them within nine years unless a waiver is granted.

    For the batch of 7,518 satellites, SpaceX asked the FCC to apply the six-year milestone only to an initial deployment of 1,600 satellites. But the FCC denied the request, saying that “SpaceX has not provided sufficient grounds for a waiver of the Commission’s final implementation milestone requirement.”

    SpaceX thus has to deploy half of the 7,518 newly approved satellites within six years and the remaining satellites within nine years unless it successfully re-applies for a waiver.

    So telling musk that his roll out plans are too modest? This should work out well…

    Reply
    1. Synoia

      I wonder if he’ll take a loss on every satellite, as with other Unicorns?l

      Or is this another deflection from Tesla’s unprofitable performance, or from a discussion of the Failure Characteristics of hyper-loop (Instant death for all riders)?

      Reply
      1. Plenue

        I first read ‘take a loss’ as ‘take a toss’. As in he would jerk off onto each satellite before launching it.

        Oddly, I wouldn’t find this surprising.

        Reply
        1. Oregoncharles

          Actually, I thought “toss” was slang for “vomit.” Where are you from?

          Well, there’s British “tosser.” Maybe I misunderstood that one.

          Reply
  20. Lee

    From the Department of Silly Questions:

    If Facebook loses face, will Zuck claim to have reinvented the book? Or will they just rename themselves Book and people will lose interest?

    If Amazon goes bankrupt will tax payers get their money back? We could nationalize it and rename it the post office. Add a publicly owned bank and health plan and we the people will really be in business! As we should be.

    Reply
  21. Karen

    Just read the Business Insider piece about covenant-lite corporate lending (“The IMF just became the latest to warn about the $1.3 trillion ‘leveraged loan’ market”).

    My burning question: who are these “large institutional investors” and whose money are they investing?

    Reply
  22. georgieboy

    Dark Store Theory to reduce Walmart real estate taxes:

    Lending covenants may touch on real estate valuations as part of net asset value, so turn the argument around. (i.e., if your thriving store in Wauwatosa is worth so little, then your entire real estate portfolio must also be marked down accordingly, and you, dear Walmart and Stephen Shapiro, now have a potential bankruptcy or fraud problem on your hands)

    So, municipalities might want to inform lenders, particularly bank lenders, whenever a judge sides with Walmart, Best Buy, etc. And buy some stock or bonds of the offending company, so you can sue them.

    Reply
    1. Jean

      Hmmmm…when some Central American nations nationalized United Fruit’s banana plantations, they compensated them with the same ridiculously low valuations that U.F. claimed for taxation purposes.
      Maybe Indianapolis could condemn them for public spaces, libraries, schools etc, through eminent domain and compensate only what the big box stores claim they are worth?

      Reply
  23. JacobiteInTraining

    Heh, in the theme of the ‘From Brothels to Independence: The Neoliberalization of (Sex) Work‘ post from a few days ago – thought this article might interest a few folks. Its got quite a few of the ‘usual suspects’ in it: AI as savior, ‘disruption’ of an industry that doesn’t need/want the disruption to begin with, combined with a neoliberal’s classic obliviousness to the implications of their story on the _actual_ people who would end up using it in the real world.

    https://thenextweb.com/artificial-intelligence/2018/11/09/how-ai-will-make-the-world-safer-for-sex-workers-and-their-clients/

    Maggie McNeill is quoted in the article – which is made even more ironic since she has her own retort on her blog showing how the original author (despite thinking they they are in the know) is in fact as oblivious as those he criticizes:

    “…Robot cars have 27% higher rates of rider motion sickness than human-piloted vehicles, meaning some 6-10% of riders, and there would be no way to be sure that their insides were not full of hidden surveillance devices; in any regime where sex work was not 100% decriminalized, robot cars could lock their doors and transport both sex worker and client to the nearest pigpen”

    “…And though these futurists tout such vehicles as “safer” for sex workers, imagine trying to escape a violent client in an area too small to get out of his grip which is also going at 100 kph down a motorway. It’s rare that an epigram I choose is so correct, yet so ironic in context.”

    (From https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2018/11/17/in-the-news-888/ ‘Virtual Unreality’ subheading)

    And, given all the recently passed fear-mongering ‘anti sex trafficking’ legislation, which the author is apparently unaware of or just blindly avoiding thinking it through, means that:

    “…Whoever comes up with a safer, simpler way for people in the sex industry to be their own bosses and for clients to get what they want in a clean, user-friendly environment will probably make a few bucks…”

    …will soon thereafter be coming up with a dandy way to be charged with dozens, hundreds, thousands of Federal ‘enabling sex trafficking’ felonies, thus locking them, their fellow devs, and all their fellow company employees into a concrete box with bars for, well…if not eternity, long enough to insure they have no further life worth living.

    Reply
  24. Polar Donkey

    If Gulen gets sent back to Turkey, who is going to bribe the Mississippi state legislature and run all the charter schools?

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      Probably the Dixiecrat Comorra, in partnership with Faloon Gongs.
      Orientals have been ‘buying’ green cards to here since time immemorial. Plus, we have, in Biloxi, a sizable Viet community. The Gulf Coast’s contribution to saving Indochina from the Commie Threat.

      Reply
  25. Stephen V.

    Because misery seeks company or just a helping hand I share the following re: CA FIRES from the ground level so to speak. This is pay walled from a true local newspaper ::

    The Anderson Valley Advertiser
    Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018
    by AVA News Service, November 14, 2018
    http://theava.com

    SUPES GOUGE FIRE VICTIMS and they don’t care.

    Wendy Escobar, the woman whose home was destroyed in the October 2017 Redwood Valley/Potter Valley Fire along with the homes of many other County residents, came before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to simply request that the Board consider waiving or reducing building permit fees for uninsured fire victims.

    Escobar: “I’m back again to talk about the outrageous cost of the building permits. Nothing is being done to decrease the amounts that we are having to pay, like $6000 or more than that for the building permits. I did not bring a lot of people here today on the advice of Supervisor [Carre] Brown. But I do have petitions. We have over 300 signatures for you, the Board of Supervisors, to waive the building fees. I’m not suggesting that we waive the building phase for people who have adequate insurance or don’t object to it. But I have 300 here and I have about three more petitions out that have another 200 or so signatures on them that I have not picked up, in Potter Valley and a couple more in Ukiah. This fire has been a real cash cow for this county because without us having to pay all these building permits you would not have that income. Besides that, look at all the money we are paying in sales tax. We are having to buy ovens, refrigerators, lumber — all sorts of things that we wouldn’t have had to pay before. At least you could charge us like a remodel fee or something where it’s not — we’ve already built the house once. We’ve already paid the building fees. Plus, the contractors are charging outrageous prices now. Lumber has gone up, everything is increasing. We are having to pay that. So all of our insurance money is going to permits and upgrades and a lot of people are just leaving. Without us you won’t have any taxes. You know, to give yourselves raises, or whatever you want to do with the money. We need to have something done or put on the agenda to address this issue. I can bring a lot of people here. I’ve got tons of people who are willing to show up here. But on the advice of Ms. Brown I didn’t do that. People are hurting. They are paying rents now where they didn’t have to pay rent before. One of my neighbors is paying $1100 a month rent where previously they owned their house, they had no mortgage. Now they are living paycheck to paycheck. I respectfully request that you people do something for us and not just look the other way. Here’s an article in the newspaper and there will be a follow-up saying ‘Mendocino County gouges fire victims’ and that’s true, and there will be another follow-up in a week or so. So I respectfully request again that this be put on an agenda and let people come and talk and then we can take it from there. If you would like these petitions I can leave them here.”

    Silence.

    “Do you want them?”

    Acting Chair Georgeanne Croskey: “You can leave them with the Clerk of the Board. Thank you, Wendy. Those are all the speaker cards I have. Do we have any further public expression?”

    Silence.

    Croskey: “At this point the Board will convene as the Air Quality Management District.”

    The last time Ms. Escobar appeared before the Board to complain about the fees back on September 11, Supervisor John McCowen at least replied, “The question of how much are they — that’s up for discussion…”
    Now there’s not even that.

    Reply
  26. Oregoncharles

    China is a different matter, but both Canada and Russia are Arctic petrostates which not only depend economically on oil income, but stand to benefit from global heating, once things settle out. Both are severely climate-limited. The same is true of Alaska and Norway.

    Which raises the question of how severely they’d be affected by sea level rise. I couldn’t find good maps on that for Russia, although it has an enormous coastline. At least St. Petersburg and Vladivostok would be affected, as well as the Black Sea cities; Moscow is farther inland. Come to think, I wonder how far flooding would extend up their major rivers, especially the Volga, with much of their best farm land? I assume they know, and figure they’d make it up on the warmer climate.

    The NOAA maps will show Alaska, and there should be information on Canada; bye-bye Victoria and Vancouver, though both have quite a lot of rise and could move up hill. Canada, also, has an enormous Arctic coastline, and I think a lot of that area is pretty flat.

    I thought there was a global interactive map of sea level rise, but couldn’t find it with a cursory search; does someone have that to hand?

    Reply
    1. drumlin woodchuckles

      The Volga River flows into the entirely-landlocked Caspian Sea, so sea-level rise will not affect it at all.

      Much of Northern Siberia along the coast, especially the West Siberia part, is flat low elevation tundra and taiga over permafrost. Permafrost is about 50% ice by volume, so if all the permafrost melts it will lose half of its “altitude”. Combine the thawed out permafrost falling like a souffle’ . . . with the sea level rise of the Arctic Ocean . . . and Russia will probably lose a couple million square miles of Siberia to a very shallow sea.

      And the same global warming which will make parts of un-flooded Russia more food-growing capable, will also drive half a billion Chinese and half a billion Indians to seek new homes to the North of their uninhabitable-ized homelands. They will probably seek that new survival living space in Russia.

      Just like Canada will be called upon to host 200 million Americans and 100 million Mexicans/Central Americans/ Caribbean Islanders, etc.

      Reply
      1. Oregoncharles

        So not the Volga, but the Don and Knieper; of course, Ukraine would share in that pain.

        How high is the divide between the Black Sea and the Caspian – that is, how high does the sea have to go to breach it?

        I looked at the global flood map Lee suggested, but it doesn’t extend into the Arctic areas you mentioned, and oddly, it shows flooding on the Caspian. That part of Siberia isn’t exactly valuable, though, except to the few indigenes who live there.

        Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          But that part of Siberia is part of what the Global Warmalisers of Russia are pinning their hopes and dreams on . . . that it will become an economically valuable sub-tropical paradise. ( And make up for Russia’s current breadbaskets turning into Deep Desert BurnBarrels).

          And CanadaRussia will still face the prospect of millions or billions of Global Warming refugees storming their borders.

          Reply
        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          It provides a basis for visual inference, though. The “flat-looking” part of Siberia is the low-elevation “coastal plain” of Siberia, without major geographic relief ( hills, mountains, anything).

          So . . . one could find out somewhere what the elevation of that land is. And work out how much of it would salf-flood if all the icecaps everywhere melted.

          To infer further how much the West Siberia Plain would actually sink, one would have to know how deep a deposit of Permafrost it is, and what per cent of that permafrost-by-volume is ice. One could then work out how much it would sink and subside if all the ice melted, rose to the top as water, and flowed into the rising sea.

          Reply
  27. Unna

    Roast Turkey Rules for simple roast turkey:

    Fresh (organic) turkey never frozen (freezing dries out the meat) 11 to 12 lbs max. Cut between thigh and breast and push down on thigh to expose breast. Rub in olive oil, thyme, crushed garlic, sea salt and black pepper. Stuff with chopped carrots, onions, celery, fresh peppers, garlic cloves, bay leaf, and pepper corns to add moisture and flavour. Roast with side of breast parallel to rear of the oven, not with legs facing out. Rotate 180 degrees and baste with metal spoon every so often. Never do tents or cover because you are roasting and not steaming the turkey. 350 F pre heat and roast for 3 1/2 hours or so. Ck for done. Let rest for 1/2 hour before cutting. Through away vegetables. All of the above can vary a bit.

    Turkey can be very satisfying but it gets a bad reputation because people cook turkeys like their mothers did in the 1950’s.

    Now I’ll go hide.

    Move to Canada and you too can celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving on the second Monday in October and then again celebrate American Thanksgiving in late November.

    Reply
  28. ewmayer

    o “OpenAI and DeepMind AI system achieves ‘superhuman’ performance in Pong and Enduro | VentureBeat” — Here, let me put the silliness of that headline in perspective by offering my own:

    “Lever-based ‘jack’ system achieves ‘superhuman’ performance in Automobile-Lifting”

    ‘Superhuman’ performance is what *all* tool development aims for. And in relatively limited-parameter-space scenarios such as the games in question (and chess, and go, and …) the kinds of abstract conceptual leaps associated with human ingenuity are very limited by definition, so it makes perfect sense that a massive-machine-computation approach would at some point surpass a 30-watt-brain messy-analog-intelligence human. This is just the AI version of early mainframes catching up in compute speed with a human with an abacus. The human role in the computational paradigm remains aptly summarized by the saying, “the purpose of computation is insight, not numbers.”

    o “Trump ‘personally answers Mueller Russia questions’ BBC” — IOW, a source just as ‘reliable and agenda-free’ as those peddled by the Russiagaters. That seems only fair.

    Reply
  29. Huey

    Anti-mutation drugs are a nifty idea, but probably the last thing we need.

    There are enough side-effects already from meds, without having to take a ‘mutation inhibitor’ as well, that is not directly doing anything to help you. Worat case scenario they have the same effects as the supposedly ‘selective’ chemo drugs, that come with severe nausea at least, while supposedly affecting mostly only rapidly dividing cella, like tumours.

    Reply
  30. The Rev Kev

    “‘It’s torture’: critics step up bid to stop US school using electric shocks on children”

    This is so wrong. If this sort of stuff was being done in a war zone, it would be classified as a war crime. And yet they get away with it and in fact have been getting away with it for the past thirty years. Question is whether anybody has been following the children that have been through this place and how they fared as adults. The only thing missing from this article is mention of explosive neck collars to stop the children from running away from this place. If this sort of stuff still sounds reasonable to some readers, then they will love the story of how one place has children pull a priest in a Porsche through the streets-

    https://www.rt.com/news/444159-malta-priest-porsche-children/

    Reply
  31. Carey

    ‘The Contradictions of being Pro-Capitalist and Anti-War’, by Jason Hirthler:

    “Discrediting sexism and racism is obviously good, if it is legitimately done. But Lenin lamented the “socialists in words and imperialists in deeds” that hounded the socialist landscape of his day. Today’s Democratic Party is progressive in words and neoliberal in deeds. The corporate liberal class has finally reached the stage where it can run a minority to do its dirty deeds. The population numbers foreseen in the Sixties have finally arrived. Barack Obama preached inclusivity from the political pulpit, but promoted exclusivity from the policy bench. It is no surprise: he is a member of a very exclusive club—an adoptee of the one percent.”

    Where we are

    Reply
      1. Unna

        From TAC article: “Amy Chua has argued…when it comes to America’s increasingly imbecilic and obscene pop culture. Many immigrant families try to keep their children away from the influence of reality television, the anti-intellectual reverence for celebrities, and the vigilant commercialization of every aspect of life.”

        You don’t need to be an immigrant family to do that, and as strange as it may seem to some, it is what parents increasingly have to do. Didn’t Hillary campaign with some of those imbecilic celebrities?

        Reply
  32. Edward E

    “The current snow in the northeast gets all the attention. Long-term doesn’t matter in USA USA.” VVV I’m rolling on the floor laughing, you guys. VVV

    Will The Snowiest Decade Continue? « CBS Boston
    https://boston.cbslocal.com/2018/11/15/boston-weather-snow-snowiest-decade-northeast-storms-weatherbell-trends-beyond-the-forecast/

    “The trick, of course, is having sufficient cold air to produce that snow. But note that 93% of the years with more than 60″ of snow in Boston were colder than average years. The reality is cooling, not warming, increases snowfall. Note the graph depicting declining January through March temperatures for 20 years at a rate of 1.5 degrees F. per decade in the Northeast!

    Additionally, the trend for fall snow across the northern hemisphere has been increasing, defying the forecasts over the last two decades for snows becoming an increasingly rare event. The 10-year running mean of the Boston area snowfall has skyrocketed to the highest level since snow records were kept and that goes back about 145 years!”

    Reply
  33. The Rev Kev

    “What America Will Look Like Under 25 Feet Of Sea Water”

    Pretty sad viewing this. It appears that for at least the rest of this century that countries like America are going to have to abandon whole sections of coastlines and estuaries. Maybe extreme storms will hurry this process along with dramatic losses but what happens when whole chunks of Florida are voluntarily let go and by that I mean urban areas. Or Boston. Or New York. Looks like Princeton will have the last laugh against Harvard going by those projections. As for all that infrastructure that will have to be abandoned I suppose that it will all have to be written off as sunk costs.

    Reply
    1. Edward E

      The Battery, New York location has been providing information since the 1850’s. The data shows that the sea level was rising as fast before the Civil War as it is today. Human activity appears not to have moved the trend at all. Charts: take a look

      https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?id=8518750

      “The relative sea level trend is 2.84 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence
      interval of +/- 0.09 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from
      1856 to 2017 which is equivalent to a change of 0.93 feet in 100 years.”

      These projections of catastrophic sea rise all assume the Earth will never cool again. Good luck with that as we approach the end of the holocene interglacial. Can you spot the cooling in the fifty year chart?

      https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/plots/8518750_50yr.png

      Reply
      1. The Rev Kev

        Sea level rises are right here and right now. And with global warming I am sure that we can all look forward to taking a trip across an ice-free Arctic before too long. I bet that you never imagined that as a kid. Here is a link for something that is not a projection. Florida is at the forefront of these changes, hence this link-

        https://www.businessinsider.com/miami-floods-sea-level-rise-solutions-2018-4/?r=AU&IR=T

        The Earth will cool again many times down the track but do you honestly believe that we can depend on a cooling taking place this century to save us? I’d rather depend on Silicon Valley saving us first. I can understand your hesitancy in believing climate change but there is such a thing as hoping for the best while preparing for the worst.

        Reply
        1. Edward E

          I never said there is not any SLR did I? Putting us to living like we’re in the stone age is not going to change a thing, nor reducing the population. Not really. Nothing is going to save us in the very long run. Eventually we will go like 97% of the creatures before us and the planet will go on.

          Used to visit a number of climate sites eight years ago or so. Somewhere I used to have more information on the penultimate interglacial (commonly called the Eemian) when sea levels were 6-9 meters (30-40ft) higher than today. There occurred an exceptional warming right before the drop into the Weichselian Glaciation (which achieved maximum glaciation near the start of our present holocene interglacial. If something like that were to happen now, people (especially poor) perish because of cold.

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:All_palaeotemps.svg

          https://history.sf-fandom.com/2015/08/02/why-did-civilization-rise-in-the-holocene-and-not-the-eemian-epoch/

          My hs girlfriend moved to Miami area in the early eighties. They’ve had problems for a long while. Denver now

          Reply
          1. The Rev Kev

            Thanks for those last two links. It seems that when we think of our planet we have in our mind that it is a steady canvas against the background of human actions but of course it is not so. It is constantly changing and evolving and I sometimes wonder how much human history depended on whatever climate was in effect down the ages. I see this in my history books.
            Of course this time around the climate changed is being induced by a single species through their activities but this is not the first time that has happened either. I am thinking of course of the oceanic cyanobacteria which brought on the Great Oxygenation Event and evidence of which is to be found in the massive iron ore deposits of Australia. I just hope that this time around that the transformation is not so radical.
            As I once joked with a friend, it won’t be the end of the world as the world still has a few billion years left in it. It may just be the end of us.

            Reply
          2. a different chris

            Nice you come across all sci-ency and then you hit us with this:

            >Putting us to living like we’re in the stone age

            BS. Nobody is talking about some necessity of living in the stone age. But good try. Not.

            Reply
  34. djrichard

    ‘I predict one day Amazon will fail. Amazon will go bankrupt’: Jeff Bezos makes surprise admission about Amazon’s life span

    I’m assuming that this is one of those “we need to let history be the judge” type of statements. In which case, we need to let things run their course until then so their destiny with history can be fulfilled. To interfere would be to deny history!

    Reply

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